The free event, which is scheduled to begin at 7 PM, will include students from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh and Seattle. A panel of celebrity judges will evaluate the competitors and select a winner. The evening will also include performances and musical guests. The list of performers will be announced at a later date.
The 2012 competition will allow students the opportunity to attend a Broadway show and work closely with two of Wilson's collaborators, director Kenny Leon and dramaturg Todd Kreidler. A semifinal round will take place at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, where three finalists from each regional city will compete, and the top contestants will be chosen to perform May 7.
The top three contestants from the national competition are awarded college scholarship opportunities in addition to monetary awards and the gift of TCG's Century Cycle collection. The first place winner will receive a $1,000 cash prize, the runner-up a $500 cash prize and the honorable mention a $250 cash prize. Each of the winners will also become eligible for college scholarship opportunities.
Founded in 2007, the competition "aims to expose a new generation of creative minds to the life's work and artistic legacy of this seminal American playwright." Program participants in cities across the country encounter Wilson's ten-play cycle and receive coaching from teaching artists as they prepare their monologues for local, city-wide and national competitions.
Previous performers, judges and guests include Phylicia Rashad, Russell Hornsby, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Scott Rudin, Guy Davis, Lynda Gravatt, Keith Randolph Smith, Tamara Tunie, Katori Hall, Maurice Hines, Chris Chalk, LaTanya Richardson, Heather Alicia Simms, Pauletta Washington and Mykelti Williamson, among others. Students have also had the opportunity to spend time with prominent Broadway performers, including Denzel Washington and Daniel Radcliffe. The competition is also featured in "The Start of Dreams," a documentary directed by The Horne Brothers, which features Washington, Rashad and Samuel L. Jackson. The documentary has been screened at festivals across the country including the Atlanta Film Festival, the Pan-African Film Festival in Los Angeles and the UrbanWorld Festival in New York.
The August Wilson Theatre is located at 245 West 52nd Street. For more information, visit www.truecolorstheatre.org/august-wilson-monologue-competition.